Saturday, 25 August 2012

Prince Harry and the titillating toff phenomenon

I have developed a disturbing addiction to watching 'The Tudors'. I missed out on it first time around, but I now find it has a dreadful fascination. It may be rubbish history but it makes for fun tv. 

It's so full of historical anomalies and inaccuracies that I don't know where to begin - but mostly there is the fat and forty syphillitic Henry VII's  portrayal as a renaissance pouty poster boy. Amongst the constant plotting, shagging and double-dealing there is some suggestion that Henry was a tortured soul. But mostly there is a sense that he is just a 'lusty good ole boy.'

From the original Prince Hal (Henry V), Henry VIII, Charles II, George IV, Edward VII  - to the current royal party animal, another Prince Harry. There seems to be a long tradition of the masses rather liking to be shocked and titillated when royalty behaves this way.

The phenomenon is much the same as with  professional footballers.  A mixture of deference, puerile fascination and an odd sense of living a more interesting life through someone with access to more temptation and toys. And most strangely of all - a sense that when our betters behave in this way they show their humanity and by implication demonstrate that they are most 'like us'.

All of which means that those party pictures of Prince Harry won't really do much significant damage to the monarchy. Sadly.

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